June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month and what better time to celebrate the season’s bounty? Spring is the perfect time of year for the most delicious fruits – like strawberries, watermelon and cantaloupe and veggies – like squash, zucchini and corn on the cob. Celebrate nature’s harvest by adding an assortment of mouthwatering fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
Are you feeling sluggish after the long winter and want to rejuvenate your system? Give it a kick start with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yummy, crunchy, and easy to prepare, they are low in fat and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, like Vitamin A, C, folic acid, beta-carotene, potassium and calcium.
Adding More To Your Diet
It’s easier than you think to add extra servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Here some easy tips to follow.
*Quick fix – Steam cook fresh or frozen veggies, like broccoli, carrots or green beans as a side dish or snack.
*Be prepared – cut up an assortment of bell peppers, carrots and broccoli and prepackage them for snacks on the go, or to add to a salad or veggie wrap.
*The brighter the better – Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes or sweet potatoes.
*Colorful salad – Brighten your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans, sliced red bell peppers, shredded radishes or chopped red cabbage.
*Seasonal veggies – Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. The farmers market is ideal for the freshest farm to table veggie choices.
*In sight – Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
*Experiment with fruit at dinner – Add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections, dried cranberries, or grapes in a tossed salad.
*Variety – Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
*Snacks – Dried fruits make great snacks and are easy to carry and store well.
*Freshness – Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor.
Spice up your menu with these delicious and nutritious summer barbeque options:
Fruit Kabobs – Strawberries, Pineapple, Grapes, Cantaloupe
Vegetable Kabobs – Cherry tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Green Peppers, Onions
Whether you buy your fresh produce at your local farmer’s market or your favorite grocery store, whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of the taste of the season during National Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month and always buy organic as much as possible! With how many toxins there are in our food already, it pays to focus on only eating fresh and pesticide-free produce!